Stitch Meditation – Day 59 and 60

Stitching is still happening in fits and starts. Simple shapes and basic stitches. Rummaging through to find just the right pieces of cloth. Drawing lines with knots and running threads, outlining a circle with variegated thread, improvising and stitching quietly.

five inch square of deep turquoise blue and circle of yellow cotton hand stitched with perle cotton embroidery thread doris lovadina quilter

Changes to my stitch repertoire are bound to happen though. A friend lent me her copy of a book she thought I would enjoy reading: Intentional Thread: a Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch by Susan Brandeis.

five inch square of three strips of fuchsia hand dyed fabric and repurposed silk stitched with embroidery cotton and a narrow cotton strip created by doris lovadina-lee canadian textile artist

After just a quick look at this book, I knew it was a fantastic resource for anyone who loves to hand stitch. I immediately ordered my own copy! Susan Brandeis is a retired Distinguished Professor Emerita at North Carolina State University’s College of Design with degrees in art education and textile art. This is the textbook she wished she had when she was teaching.

cover of Intentional thready by Susan Brandeis
Brandeis, Susan. Intentional Thread: a Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch

Beautifully illustrated with examples of her work, a guide to stitch types, samplers of her stitches and so much more! I know that I will be referring to this book for a long while and seeing new things each time.

In the preface to the book, Brandeis writes about living in a world of speed – information, transportation, and commerce are happening faster and faster.

But the abscence of speed in the handmade stands in opposition to that hurry, offers an anitidote to frenzy and commotion, and is one of the reasons I love handwork. I am drawn to the ‘meditative’ quality of working slowly at human (rather than machine) speed.

Susan Brandeis

I’ve listed a YouTube video in the Stitch Resources. It’s a short video of Susan’s retrospective show. It’s interesting to hear of her talk about the ideas, inspirations, and techniques she used to create her pieces.

Stitch Resources

  • Website: Susan Brandeis: Textile Art, Craft, Design, and Education
  • YouTube: Susan Brandeis Retrospective: Quilting & Surface Design, 1978-2008.

Always studying and improving — one stitch at a time!

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